"Boots and pants and boots and pants." "Shopping!" Could this awful local commercial for East Hills Mall in Missouri be for real? My editors said no, so I called to find out. Spoiler alert: It's real and it. is. glorious. Watch first, read later.
First of all, the people at East Hills Mall are a delight. Both the gentlemen I spoke to at guest services were very nice and while the manager couldn't speak to me about the commercial because she was being taped for the local news (You made it!), I left my number and was called by Jim, a tireless man in guest services who was using his own cellphone to return calls to the media. Now that's dedication. I love malls, so if I am ever near East Hills I will be by to shake your hand.
Jim told me that the calls about the commercial have been coming in non-stop, both from individuals (really interested in the sales, I presume) and members of the media. Whether the commercial was commissioned by the galleria — can I call you a galleria, East Hills? — still remains unclear (although both people I talked to said they were pretty sure it was because it was shot on location and the singers are allegedly mall employees) (Also Jim told me the "marketing lady" said yes), but the mall, which one Redditor has stated has been in decline, is thrilled with the attention it's gotten. According to Jim, the commercial was shot for a "tax-free weekend" promotion and while he hasn't seen more people come into the mall since the commercial went viral, Jim told me that it's the first day of school so it may be too early to tell.
"Did you intend for the commercial to go viral?" I asked Jim.
"No, these things just happen."
"Have you seen the commercial?" I pressed, doing my due diligence?
"No. I've got to do that next."
"You know that the reason it's going viral is because it's so awful, right?"
"Believe me, I know." He said. "Believe me, I know."
And then he said "That's the scoop." And I thanked him and hung up. Then I put my feet up on my desk and leaned back in my chair. Another hard day of investigative reporting done; another of life's mysteries solved.